Abrams Lol Image 1 Southport 1922


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Banks, Lancashire born inside or outside left Laurence “Lol” Abrams began his career with Lancashire Combination club Southport Central,  after making his debut at the age of sixteen in a 7-0 defeat to Manchester United Reserves in November 1905. Soon after, Oldham approached Southport over signing Abrams but were rebuffed as Southport claimed they had not been informed within the required time. In order to ward off interest, Southport offered Abrams a professional contract, making him the youngest ever professional player in the history of the club. He scored his first senior goal in his second appearance, during a 3-0 victory over Oldham Athletic. He left the club in May 1906 to sign for rival Lancashire Combination side Colne Town. before joining Second Division Stockport County in April 1907.

Abrams made his Football League debut in a 1-1 draw with Gainsborough Trinity on 7th September 1907 and was a regular for The Hatters over the next three seasons, scoring 9 goals in 71 appearances before moving north of the border to join Scottish League Heart of Midlothian for £650 on 30th December 1910, making his debut for The Jambos the following day in a 1-0 Scottish League defeat to Third Lanark at Tynecastle. At Hearts, a reshuffle in the playing squad led Abrams to convert from an outside forward to a wing half. Described as “a player of the Scottish school”, his performances for Hearts in his new position attracted considerable attention from English clubs, being scouted by Liverpool who sent John McKenna to see him play. He was a regular during the next three and a half seasons at Hearts, where he scored 9 goals in 117 appearances for them before being sold to First Division Chelsea for £1.000 in May 1914.

In the final season before the cessation of normal peacetime football due to the outbreak of the First World War two months after his transfer, Abrams scored 5 goals in 36 appearances at left half for Chelsea, although having played in 5 FA Cup ties in the earlier rounds of their 1915 FA Cup run, although having suffered a twisted knee in March he was not selected for either the semi final or the FA Cup Final, where Chelsea lost the so called “Khaki Cup Final” 3-0 to Sheffield United. However Chelsea struggled to pay the transfer fee and Hearts later obtained a court order in August 1916 to enforce repayment of an outstanding sum of £750 but withdrew the action after Chelsea claimed the club would fold if the repayment was made. Hearts later dropped their claim against the club and the money was never paid.

During the First World War he served in the Armed Forces, and he also guested for three of his former clubs, Southport Central, Stockport County and Hearts, and also appeared for Liverpool for one match against Bolton Wanderers due to an injury crisis. He returned to Chelsea following the resumption  of peacetime football at the end of the hostilities, remaining at Stamford Bridge until 1920 having scored 7 goals in 49 appearances either side of the conflict.

He joined newly elected Second Division side Cardiff City on a free transfer in the summer of 1920, reuniting with his former Stockport manager Fred Stewart. However, he made just one League appearance for the club on 30th August 1920 in a 0-0 draw with Clapton Orient, in the first League match played at Ninian Park.

He returned to his first club Southport in the summer of 1921, Southport having just become members of the Football League playing in the Third Division (North), where he played in their inaugural League fixture, a 1-1 draw with Durham City that August, and was later appointed captain before finishing his professional career when his contract was cancelled in February 1923 after 7 goals in 50 appearances, including a hat-trick in a 5-1 win over Stalybridge Celtic on Christmas Eve 1921, two of which were penalties.

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